Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress 42-97880/DF-F 'Little Miss Mischief', 324th Bomb Squadron, 91st Bomb Group, Bassingbourn, Cambridgeshire, 1944
Perhaps more than any other aircraft of the Second World War, the four engined Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress embodied the awesome might of America's military and industrial prowess and her determination to fight for total victory. Operating in massed formations over enemy occupied Europe, these distinctive aircraft were designed to conduct daylight precision bombing missions against strategic enemy targets, with the aim of literally pounding them into submission. As its name suggests, the Flying Fortress was bristling with defensive armament and it was intended that tight formations of B-17s would be able to throw so much lead into the air, that any attacking enemy aircraft would either be shot down before they could press home their attack, or see less committed pilots simply fly away from what would surely be their certain demise. Although things didn't quite turn out this way during the savage aerial combat in the skies above Europe, it did help to earn the B-17 a fearsome reputation amongst Luftwaffe pilots.